Information about stage 4: Stage from Deba to Markina-Xemein
It take 7 to 8 hours if you walk it in one day
Km 0. Deba (All services)
We cross the tracks and later the estuary. Next to it we take the GI-638 road that goes to Mutriku and after 150 meters we take a detour to the left that indicates Buztiñaga . Here the first ramps begin. A cement lane, first, and a path between laurels, strawberry trees and hazelnuts and all sorts of deciduous species, then lead to the Pikoaga farmhouse . The vision of the sea and the rural atmosphere of meadows and cattle cabins comfort even the hermitage of Calvario de Maia . The place, with the partial view of Mutriku, is well worth a breather. In addition, there is a somewhat hidden fountain, behind the wall and marked Iturria, a source in Basque.
km 4.4. Hermitage of Calvary of Maia (Hostel-Bar-Shop a short distance away. Grill)
We resume our march along the paved track, marked by the Stations of the Cross, we pass the Azkenetxe spit and cross the GI-3330 road. At the side of the itinerary we find another source . At the end of March 2014, Nerea and Gaizka opened a hostel that has a bar and a small shop. An excellent option, especially for those who have not slept in Deba. Immediately we plunge into a shady path where we will have to overcome several wooden gates. A patch of Cantabrian holm oakit expands here on the limestone and, already leaving an open area, presided over in the pass by a cattle shed, we slightly admire the sea, to which we will say goodbye to the Arena beach in Pobeña, in stage 8. In short, we circumvent one last gate and cross the GI-3562 to reach the nearby Olatz by track , belonging to the municipality of Mutriku.
km 8.3. Olatz (Bar)
In this cattle-raising neighborhood is the Zelaieta bar-restaurant, (the only establishment where you can recharge your batteries until Markina). We indicate the telephone number in case you want to consult the hours 943 60 45 95. Leaving aside the hermitage of San Isidro , the official signage marks ” Arnoate 5.5 km”, we progress in the company of the Anu stream . In a turn to the left we say goodbye to its bed and continue ascending by track and later by forest until we timidly overcome the barrier of 500 meters of altitude. In the middle of the ascent we will set foot in Bizkaia (Km 11.2) , although we do not see any signs of the muga, and already descending, by track, we arrive at the Damukorta farmhouse, where it is possible that we can fill the canteen, since there is a nearby spring (Km 13.3) . We continue the track to the farmhouse and Arnoate pass , where we can make another stop and refresh ourselves in the fountain , sheltered from the sun or rain.
km 14.2. Collado Arnoate (Source)
At this point we turn right to continue along a ‘leg-breaking’ path that runs along this slope and passes next to the demolished Sakoneta farmhouse (Km 16.3) . Finally we come to a track that runs next to the Atzorinzabal (Km 17.8) and Amulategi (Km 18.7) farmhouses . After this point, you now go down a track in good condition and with paved sections always downhill and suitable for bicycles, improving the old section full of mud and stony. We follow the path and arrive next to a meadow that leads to the Arretxinaga neighborhood , where the Barroeta tower is located , a fortified house from the 14th and 15th centuries, and the hermitage of San Joaquín and Santa Ana (Km 23.2) . On the side of the Camino is also the hermitage of San Miguel de Arretxinaga , from the 18th century and with a hexagonal floor plan. It deserves at least a brief visit to see its origin: the three stones that make up the chapel and balance each other. After crossing two bridges over the Urko river we go straight ahead along Arretxinaga avenue and then turn left onto Artibai street. In this we take the first on the right, Osteko street, which takes us to the hostel of the convent of the Carmelite Fathers . María Luisa also welcomes pilgrims (see observations) and, since 2012, Markina-Xemein also has the private Intxauspe hostel .
km 24.3. Markina (All services)
The almost absence of populations and the hardness make it one of the most respected stages of the North route. It is advisable to do it in company.
Cyclists must go from Deba to Ondarroa on the GI-638 road and in Ondarroa continue on the BI-633 to Markina-Xemein. The steep slopes, the gates, the intricate sections of the path and, above all, the final descent to Markina-Xemein, make the official route inadvisable for bicigrinos.About 5 kilometers from starting the stage from Deba, Nerea and Gaizka inaugurated the Izarbide Aterpetxea hostel, past the Calvario hermitage, which has a bar, their telephone number is 655 45 97 69.Olatz is the second and last town with a bar that we will find along the way. The bar has uncertain hours, usually open on weekends and in August, so it’s best to make sure and call the day before. Above all, bring some water and food from Deba, because in the mountains you always have to be forewarned.Today we leave the first province on our way, saying goodbye to Gipuzkoa and entering Bizkaia. The border is at the Arno pass, the highest point on the Jacobean route in Euskadi.Today’s stage is lonely, it is necessary to carry water, some food and patience in the ups and downs of the stage profile.